Monday, November 9, 2020

Series 13/Chapter 13: IF EVER THERE WAS AN END


A storm over Collinsport 

A storm front continued to fill the air around Collinsport with electricity and light. It was late autumn storm that chilled the citizens of the small fishing village in Maine to their bones. Every 20 minutes as if the sky was breathing a flash if lighting burst into a roll of thunder. 

It was a growl and energy, a hurling of power by Mother Nature that ushered in the birth the new baby, they named: Christopher Grayson Reed. 

At the hospital, Kimberly rested in her bed. She was still flush and sweating from giving birth to her second son. A nurse patted her forehead with a wet cloth and gave her the tiniest sip of water. 

"You did so good Mrs. Collins. Your husband is so proud of you!" The nurse said.

"My husband?" Kim asked, unsure of how David knew she had given birth. 

"Yes! He's just outside, I'll have him come in." The nurse replied taking a small dish with cold water that she had dabbed the wash cloth in.

Kimberly, her mind all over the place and exhausted after giving birth, was confused. How did David get to the hospital? Who released him from Windcliff? She began to feel her stomach jump in her body. Would he be the same David? Did he find out she had been drugging him to make him insane? 

As Kimberly began to panic over the realizing that David was at the hospital and possible knew how she had plotted with Victor all this time, two shadows passed the hospital window. Kim could see the man and the nurse behind the window's shade. The nurse motioned for the man to go into the room where Kim was.

The door opened, and in walked Victor Reed, the baby's true father.

Kim gasped in relief. Victor lied about who he was to the hospital.

"Oh, god Victor. They told me my husband was here." She sighed.

"A little word play." Victor smirked.

"How's the baby???? Can I see him?" The new mother asked. 

"You'll see did really well, love. You really did. The baby is a healthy boy. You should be really proud of yourself. I know that Chancellor Devlin is very proud of you. And with what is going to happen in a short amount of time, we'll be almost complete." Victor said reminding Kim of the bomb they planted at Collinwood.

"Oh my god...the bomb!" Kim replied as Victor hushed her.

"Keep your voice down." he said.

"You don't understand Victor, before we came to the hospital I was trying to explain to you what would happen if we succeeded in killing all of them. The money...all of the money will go to Carolyn's daughter in London, not David since he's at Windcliff....We can't kill them, not this way. The house, the insurance, all of it. They're be an investigation, Victor, they won't stop until the find out how the house blew up and when the discover foul play no money will be awarded. It'll all be for nothing." Kim said, her head clearing of the fuzzy nature after birth.

Victor thought about it for a second and realized there were caveats to his plan if it succeeded that he hadn't thought about before. The power of the Collins money and control of the company was indeed tied up in the living members of the family, and if they killed Carolyn and Caleb that meant it would go to David and Alex, but David was locked away at Windcliff, he would instantly be considered unable to carry on....that left Alex the soul heiress...not Kim. Kim, and thus Victor and the OTH would be left out in the cold. Completely. 

Victor scoffed and joked: 

"The bomb won't be all for nothing. They'll still be dead." Victor reminded her.

Kim scoffed back at his recklessness. 

"At what cost? Your freedom? Mine? We have a son now Victor, we can do this a different way. Not much time has passed on the timer. We can still stop this and figure out a new way to kill every last Collins family member. The OTH needs us, they need us to continue our vision, if we get caught, all of that is gone. And they'll come after the Chancellor next. Think about this." Kim warned.

Victor frowned. She was right. Every last investigator in town and in the nation would be hot on the trail of who killed the an entire family by bomb. It wasn't Victor's brightest ideas. He knew Kim was right and that soured him on her but his ego had to take a back seat. They had to stop the bomb.

"How much time do we have?" She asked him as he looked at his watch. 

"7 hours. But...I didn't tell you the other thing." Victor said.

Kim's eyes widened. Her heart pounded causing her heart monitor to go into overdrive. 

"What. Other. Thing." she said each word coming out of her mouth, slowly like a thick syrup. Slowly, as if she were hoping the slower she spoke the less true whatever he was about to say would be.

"I put the bomb in an obvious place. Where anyone could see it. If someone finds it and tries to stop it, it'll go off before the timer. I did that on purpose." Victor confessed happily. 

The bomb was left under the kitchen table. Where Caleb was often found playing with his toy soldiers.

Kim's face turned as still as stone. She knew exactly why he had done that. Caleb. He wanted Caleb dead first and foremost. Her own son. Her child. Her first born.

"Get me out of this bed, we have to stop this. We have to stop this!!!" She shouted. 

Victor tried to calm her, but she refused. She knew that time was of the essence, and if Caleb was already running around the house playing and if Carolyn wasn't paying enough attention to him it was only a matter of time before the bomb would kill them all and a world of scandal and law would fall on them.

"Mrs. Collins, would you like to meet your son?" A nurse said entering the room just as a loud roll of thunder flashed across the sky over the village.

"We need to leave now. We need to go." Kim said her face showing panic and fury. 

"What? But can't!" the nurse said as she cuddle baby Christopher. 

"You don't understand." Kim said as Victor continued to try and calm her. "There is a situation at our home and we need to be there to stop it. Or...we just....I need to go!!" Kim shouted. 

"Mr. Collins, I don't understand." the nurse said to Victor confusing him with David.

"It's ok, we're ok." Victor said as he pulled the nurse and baby Christopher a side. "Is it possible that I can get my wife home for just a few hours? The baby can stay here, I know that you need to observe him for a few days. But as you can see my wife is incessant on getting home." Victor said.

"That's almost out of the question Mr. Collins. We have to observe the baby and your wife for at least 24 hours. There could be complications that occur and we need to be sure she's watched and taken care of if something does happen. " The nurse explained.

"I can make it worth your while nurse....Howard." Victor said reading the nurse's name tag. "I can definitely make it worth your while. I mean, money is no object and no one needs to know." 

The nurse looked over at Kim, she was already removing her sticky tags that recorded her vitals to the monitor. She knew that it was against all protocol to allow a mother of a new born baby to leave so soon after the birth of a child, but it had been done before. Now that Collins money was being thrown at her there was no other question about it. 

"Ok, but give me about 10 more minutes to get her paper work signed off." Nurse Howard replied. "The baby stays." She added. 

Victor smiled after getting what he wanted. "The baby stays." he repeated. 

Kim looked over, the nurse rushed off with the baby to prepare Kim's paperwork. He smiled at her, a signal that it was fine. They'd be able to catch the bomb if someone didn't get to it first. 


Josette's Ghostly Hands 

At Collinwood,  an Autumn thunderstorm flashed through the sky and through the great stainless window above the main staircase causing a kaleidoscope of colors to flash every few seconds on 5 year old Caleb Collins' pristine little face. 

He was playing on the landing with a small little air plane. He lifted his hand pretending the plastic airplane was floating through the air. He made sounds with his mouth, puttering his lips in a mechanical nature as if the plane's engine was thrusting it through a blue sky.

He rushed down the stairs, plane up as high as his little arm could reach, like it was flying.

He ran around in circles in the foyer continuing with the engine noises with his mouth.

He then went into the drawing room where Carolyn was on the phone with her airline agent. 

"That's right, I need to add on a ticket to mine.......are you sure there's no seat next to mine?......How about moving my seat to another part of the plane where there are two available?........fine fine....I don't mind coach............" She said. "Seat....D4 and D5, got it." Carolyn repeated out loud as the airline agent gave her the two new seat assignments. 

Caleb continued to run around the drawing room sofa making noise with his plane annoying Carolyn who seemed to be stressed out with her new travel plans. 

"Caleb, darling, please take that into another room please!" She shouted at him.

The little Collins boy frowned and put his hands with the plane in an X form in front of him and headed out of the drawing room back into the foyer as Carolyn then called someone else. 

Caleb listened.

"Darling, hello! ....Oh I miss you too. How's Alex? God I miss that little face......things here? Well, they're just as I thought like they'd be. Horrible. I don't want to get into anything right now but listen, I have some news. I'm brining Caleb back with me ok? I just think ....I think he's better off with us. What? Kimberly? Ill explain later." Carolyn said over the phone to her husband Jack in London. She saw Caleb listening in the corner and she pointed at him to leave. Then mouthed "Privacy." 

The grandfather clock struck the hour. A loud chime rang through the foyer startling Caleb who shook it off quickly and rushed off continuing on his play-flight with his toy airplane in the air. He was making engine noises again bursting through a side door from the foyer that led into a small corridor that Caleb followed. Running. Flying. Pretending. 

Then he entered the kitchen. The Cook had the evening off. Caleb had the whole kitchen to himself. His plane flew around and around the kitchen table. He was pretending the table was a mountain and the plan had to fly over the mountain to get to its final destination.

Caleb made a loud sound with his mouth and threw the plane over the table. The toy plane came fluttering down on the other side of the kitchen table in a plastic crash. 

The little boy laughed at the sound and rushed over to the other side and fell to his knees to pick up his favorite toy. As he reached for the plane, he looked under the kitchen table and there was the bomb. Ticking. Ticking. Ticking away the life out of Collinwood. 

Caleb tilted his head. He didnt know what it was. It was such an interesting objet for a little boy to see. A box of sorts, with wires and colors and a clock that was counting backwards. He stared at it, almost in a trans and then he slowly began to reach for it. 

The glowing red clock reflected in his eyes the counting down just before the explosion was to go off. There was plenty of time, but as Victor mentioned any kind of tampering with the wires would cause the bomb to go off prematurely, something Victor was hoping for. 

Caleb slowly reached for the bomb, his little hand gripped one of the wires and pulled.....

Then a giant, raging explosion of fire, bright and hot lit the sky like a million suns. It raged through the house with a force that began to tear through the bricks that were placed there over 200 years earlier by the men who built this place as if they were tinker toys being tossed to the floor by a child.

The powerful blast tore through the walls, Carolyn, fell to the floor, her head bursting open when it hit the floor. The Walls started to collapse. The beams in the ceiling began to fall. Caleb's little body gone, the fire engulfed the whole house. The 250 year old stained glass window at the top of the staircase burst into a million shards that crumbled down in a rain of glass.

The west wing, where Claudia Bouchard lay locked in her room, the room that was Quentin Collins at one time in history, was on fire. She woke up to a hand caressing her cheek.

She opened her eyes to see the Ghost of Josette Collins.

"WHO ARE YOU!?" The witch Claudia yelled, suddenly finding herself in a collapsing building.

"Something has happened. You must, MUST help." Josette said, her transparent body reflecting the fire and collapsing room all around her.

Then Quentin's door opened.

Claudia, her lungs filled with smoke rushed out, confused. Unsure of what in the world had happened. Josette hot on her tail.

"YOU MUST HELP!!!" Josette's ghostly voice echoed.

"HOW!??!??!" Claudia said, her heart pounding. She was trapped by fallen burned beams covering the hallway.

"YOU MUST HELP!!!!" Josette said, again her ghostly voice echoing in the rage of the fires.

Then, a second explosion, just as powerful; and just how burst like a fire ball from below that knocked a giant whole in the floor under Claudia. She fell to the second floor and on top of debris from the house. A gas-line had burst and the house was collapsing all around her.

Claudia rolled over on a giant heap of debris and closed her eyes. She did not know what happened. She did not initially feel the first explosion. The fires were burning all of Collinwood to the ground. Claudia wanted this mansion gone too but not like this. Not when it wasn't her terms.

"YOU MUST HELP!!" Josette's voice echoed. 

Claudia stood up on the mountain of the debris. She looked down, and she saw the painting of her father Barnabas torn to shreds with only the ripped portion of his face form the canvas showing to the bottom of the massive heap of debris she was standing on as the smoke continued to fill the space around her. 

This was not the way she wanted it to end. 

She closed her eyes. She took a deep breath of the smoke and screamed a scream that could reach the depths of hell and to the highest of heaven. It was a scream that filled all the elements all around her and time began to shift. 

Things began to fall upward. The smoke began to recede. The floor above pulled Claudia up and refilled itself where it had exploded. Claudia had successfully turned time around and everything was going backwards. The fires began to extinguish. The walls were going back up brick by ancient brick. The ceiling was going back up beam by ancient beam.  

Barnabas' painting flew back on to the wall in the reconstructed foyer. Intact. 

Claudia was flung back into Quentin's room. The door locked again. She fell back on the bed as if nothing happened. Sleeping. 

Carolyn lifted from the ground. Her head wound healed. 

Caleb was back in the kitchen, reaching for the bomb under the table...he reached and ....

 Out of no where, a hand grabbed his and pulled him out from under the table. 

"Don't touch." The person said.

Caleb's eyes became as large as two little hardboiled eggs. 

It was Josette, her body transparent and floating. She had sent her spirit to protect Caleb.

"Lady." he whispered softly. 

The boy had grown up in the mansion and had often played with the ghostly "lady" as he called her several times. When Evangeline was away, she would come in and play with him. Watch over him and guide him like an angel.

He grew to love her and knew to always keep her a secret from everyone. As he did the day of Elizabeth's funeral. No one had ever known Josette was there, watching over the lonely Collins boy.

Josette put her index finger to her lips shushing him to keep their secret. She reached down and pulled at the bomb under the table defusing it preeminently . And saving the mansion from distraction.

Once the clock read 00:00 the saintly and ghostly Josette and vanished into thin air again She was gone, her spirit floating away into the walls of Collinwood to watch over the family again another day.

As Josette began to pass into the world of the undead she smiled knowing that joining forces with Claudia's powers saved this place; this house of shadows. It was a house she loved too. A family she swore in death to protect from those same dark shadows that haunted her in life. 

Claudia's eyes snapped opened as she lay in the big comfy bed as if nothing happened. She hid herself away in the Wast Wing of Collinwood. She could still feel the powers of Josette like she had felt those of Justin. It was a pounding in her heart and in her whole body. No other being, that had lived once but now only flowed into through the the walls transparently and mystically could do so without her knowledge. 

Claudia Bouchard (or Evangeline as she was named at birth) would continue going by her adopted name, of Claudia. And now, Josette had given her the powerful super nature kets of gate-keeper of Collinwood.
This would be her journey in awaiting the return of her father Barnabas Collins. She'd wait forever if she had to. Forever and day even.

Back in the foyer downstairs, Kimberly burst in, knowing nothing of Josette and Claudia's involvement in the bomb detonation and reversal. She slammed the door in the process. The noise of her entrance caused Carolyn to leap from her chair in the drawing room and rush into the foyer.

"KIM!?" Carolyn shouted totally unaware of what had just happened and how she had been killed and revived by magic. "What are you doing here? I was just about to gather some things and head over to the hospital and see you and the baby."

"Where's Caleb? Where's Caleb?" Kim shouted back, her face pale and tired from just giving birth.

"Calm down! He's fine. He's fine." Carolyn reassured the new mother. "He was just somewhere playing. Why are you home?" Carolyn then asked as she took hold of Kim's shoulders to calm her.

Kim was happy they were safe and Victor had gone around through the service entrance to defuse the bomb that Claudia had already taken care of. Kim took a deep breath and hugged Carolyn surprising the new matriarch of the family.

"Jesus, Kimberly you're soaking wet. What's going on?" Carolyn asked, seriously concerned.

"Nothing. Nothing. I'm just glad you're all ok." The new mother replied.

"Why wouldn't we be?" Carolyn asked suspiciously.

"I just had an awful dream at the hospital and I had to come home and make sure everything was ok. With everything that has happen in the last few months I felt like I had to be here. For Caleb." Kim said making no sense.

Carolyn looked at her funny. She could tell it was a lie. Kim was guilty of something, Carolyn could tell but she didnt have time or the energy to try and pry it out of her. Not now. She had other fish to fry with her cousin's diabolical wife.

"Listen, I don't know what's going on or what your on---the meds they gave you must have you on some kind of wild one, but I'm glad you're here. I want to tell you that I'm taking Caleb with me to London tomorrow morning. He's going to live with me." Carolyn said.

"WHAT? London? You can't take my son to London! He's MY Son!" Kim replied.

"Look around you Kimberly! This place isn't safe for him. His father is gone, you're in some kind of affair with Victor Reed, his nanny vanished, my mother and Noelle....well I don't have to remind you about them. Caleb has seen too much. He's been through too much, I don't want to hear anything about it. You're more than welcome to come visit him but I refuse to allow you to have him in this house. If you want to try and stop me....go ahead, but I'm warning you, Web is a very good family lawyer. There's nothing he can't get for me." Carolyn said in a veiled threat.

"How Dare you! HOW Dare you assume I'm having an affair, or...whatever you call it." Kim said, blocking out the truth.

"Oh don't give me that. I know Victor wasn't here just to check up on you like you said right before you gave birth. I know what's happening here. I'm not an idiot. But that's besides the point. Do what you want in your personal life, just leave Caleb out of it." Carolyn demanded.

"You can't do this. You can't just take my chid from me." Kim replied.

"I want you to think about what's happening here and think about David. I want you to really think about this Kim," Carolyn said as yet another thunder roll basted over the mansion. "I'm going to protect him. Do you understand me? I'm going to protect him for as long as I am alive and when you can do the same, when you can really truly do the same for him, and can prove it to me, then you can have him back. This is final."

Kim took a deep breath. She knew that Carolyn was right. But allowing Carolyn to take the boy from her would mean betraying the OTH. It would Destroy their plot to kill every last Collins family member. It would ruin the plans of Chancellor V.W. Devlin. But Kim was a mother first. Kim looked at Carolyn and knew that she had no choice, Carolyn had spoken and no one would change her mind.

After a brief moment of thought and some tears, Kimberly finally relented. 

"Fine." Kim said in a soft voice just as another thunder roll came with Caleb in tow. 

"MAMA!" The boy screamed as she knelt down and hugged him.

"You be a good boy for Cousin Carolyn ok Honey? you be a good boy for mamma." Kim said as the two hugged a hug so tight that the boy squealed in a pretend pain.

She then looked up from her crouching position with Caleb at Carolyn so that their eyes met perfectly. She stood up so that they were face to face.

"Just never ever tell him about David." Kim said, slightly whispering so the boy wouldn't dnt hear her. 

"Why?" Carolyn asked confused.

"I want him to have good memories of his father ....not of his father losing his mind and having to go to Windcliff. Promise me that. Promise me on your mother's grave that Caleb will never know his father's whereabouts." She begged in a hushed voice so that Caleb wouldn't hear. The guilt of what she had done too slowly seeped out in her words. 

Carolyn thought for a second. She could see that this was a sincere moment of truth coming from Kim's lips. It was real. Heartfelt. She looked at Caleb who was like a beautiful blond cherub staring up at her with eyes as blue as the ocean waves that crashed up against the black rocks of Widow's Hills, and with a slight nod of her head, Carolyn agreed to never ever speak of David being away at Windcliff. She then took the boy by the hand and lead him upstairs to his room to pack for London. 

Then, with the coast clear, Victor entered the foyer from the side door. 

"What have you done?" He said to his co-conspirator. 

"I had to." Kim replied. "Did you take care of it?" She asked of the bomb.

He showed her the deactivated bomb. "It was already defused." he said confused.

"Was it defective?" She asked looking down at his hands and the defused bomb.

Victor shook his head no. He had no idea how the bomb didn't go off when it had obviously been touched. He had no idea the power within the walls of Collinwood. He had no idea that the bonds of this family he was so determined to destroy in the name of the person and Organization he swore allegiance to, was bound together forever and no one would come into their world attempting to kill them without getting a fight.


At the airport in Bangor, Carolyn and Caleb sat at their gate. Carolyn watched as Caleb played on the floor with this small plastic truck as she carefully flipped through a VOGUE magazine.

"Your son....he's very lovely." An old woman said who sat next to Carolyn just two chair between them.

"Oh he's my cousin's son, and yes, he's very handsome." Carolyn replied to the old woman proudly.

"Indeed. Are you both headed on holiday?" The old woman questioned.

"No. back to London. To live." Carolyn replied attempting to cut the conversation short.

"I see. Just visiting America then?" The woman asked again prodding.

Carolyn began to be annoyed. She wanted to be polite but she also like her privacy --- but then remembered how to show nosey people off....mentioning death.

"We were here for a funeral. My mother's." She said in a short tone.

"Ah....death. what a horrible horrible thing for you both to have gone through I'm sure. You know, I've always believed that no one really ever dies. Not ever. We just sort of move on to a different part of our existence. Even our most forgotten family members." The old woman offered as the sound of an airplane lifting off began to shake the glass of the airport gate.

"I see." Carolyn replied with a short answer trying to keep the conversation as impersonal as possible while she looked down at her VOGUE magazine again.

"Oh I think you do Carolyn, darling. I think you do.....just remember, he's never been gone. Never. And he never ever will be. Barnabas and all the others, they're still around. You just haven't found them yet. But you will. Just you wait. You will find them again."

Carolyn lifted her head in a quick snap to look the woman dead in the eye that mentioned Barnabas' name. But the woman was gone. Vanished. Like she was never there in the first place.

Carolyn stood up and looked around. People were rushing all over to their gates. Travelers. Rushing. Running. Stressed with travel anxiety. But the old woman, was not there. She was gone.

Carolyn dropped the magazine to the floor. Her heart pounding loudly in her chest.

"Cousin Caro....." Caleb said using his nick name for her, his little 5 year old hand handing her the magazine that she had dropped.

"Oh. Thank you sweetie." Carolyn replied.

As she took the magazine back, it had opened to a travel ad to Singapore that read:



A two weeks later, at an office in town, Cameron Frame sorted through some paperwork and letters from Carolyn on his lap. He had an appointment at the Collinsport Police Department. Her was nervous. He was curious. And most of all he was ready to move on with his life. after he had come to a drastic change of heart since the days his mother Carolyn had gone back to London.

Under the paper work and Carolyn's letters, he pulled out another envelope that his now Ex Lucas had written him. It was a goodbye letter, the catalyst to his drastic change of heart. In it, Lucas said that he too had to move on. He too had to find his own path and that he was sorry for everything that he had done behind his back with Noelle. He mentioned that where ever he would be, he would always remember Cameron --- forever. 

But Cameron didn't want Lucas to remember him. In fact he didn't want anyone to remember him. Not a single soul, not this way. He wanted a fresh start, free from everything and all the baggage of Noelle, and Lucas and Carolyn and the Collins family that he belonged too but never had the chance to know. He didn't want anyone to remember him. Frustrated with the letter from Lucas, that Cameron saw as pure B.S., he pulled out out a fourth piece of paper that he had just filled out. It was an application to join the Police Academy. His abandonment by Lucas and his slowly distancing from the Carolyn and the family he never knew had pushed his decision to join the police force in town. 

"Mr. McGovern? Mr. Loomis McGovern?" An Academy agent shouted form the door. 

Cameron looked around. He stood up and walked over to the agent.

"That's me." Cameron said. 

The Police Academy agent led Cameron into a side office where they could talk. They sat down and the agent went over his application and other paper work from his background check.

"I see you just recently changed your name from Cameron Frame to Loomis McGovern. That's rather odd for a police recruit Mr. McGovern, why the petition to change your name?" The agent asked.

"It's the reason I decided that I wanted to be in the force, sir. My family is, I guess you can say, prominent. Actually, they're not really anyone I want to associate myself with. Not anymore anyway. I decided that I wanted a clean break, a fresh start and I don't want the members of the family who live over-seas to find me and try and convince me to get back in line with them and their way of life. It was a big decision." Cameron explained.

"They're way of life? That sounds like there are some legal issues involved. There aren't are there?" The police recruit asked concerned.

"No, no....nothing like that." Cameron, now named Loomis McGovern said, hiding the fact his own material cousin David killed his father back in 1966. 

"I see." The police agent said, looking over the paperwork. "It still must be painful to let go of the family that raised you this way. Are there any kind of hurt resentful feelings towards them?" He added.

"Oh, no, They didn't raise me. They didn't even know I existed for most of my life. Most of them still don't really know me. And I'd prefer it that way. With my name being changed I can pursue my life without their influence. I want to help people. I want to make the community better. But I can't do that with this name. I can't." Cameron said.

"Well, other than the name change which seemed odd, everything seems to check out, Mr. McGovern. I think you're making a very good choice. The CPPD is going to be a very good fit for you, I can already tell. Once you pass your courses, you'll make a fine police officer. I hope you're ready for the beating of your life!!" The agent teased. "Bootcamp is no day at the park." he added.

"Yes, sir. With Everything I have been through this year, Bootcamp will be a welcome departure." the newly named Loomis McGovern replied, as he smiled and looked out the office window towards the horizon where he could see Collinwood high top Widow's Hill looking down on the village. 


At Victor's home just off the center of town, Kim was feeding the baby when he slammed an airline ticket down on the kitchen table. 

"What is this?" She asked.

"It's for you." He said.

"I don't understand." She replied as the baby cried in her arms.

"The Chancellor had a long chat with me this morning and we decided that because of your betrayal in allowing Caleb and Carolyn to escape back to London unharmed, we can see that you need extra time to train. This plane ticket is going to take you to Zurich, Switzerland where you'll be trained further in our doctrine. This is non-negotiable. 

"This is absurd Victor!! I have a baby to take care of!" Kimberly shouted at her paramour. 

"Kim... don’t you want to Please the chancellor? You do want to please the chancellor don’t you. You have to." Victor replied. 

Kim, her heart and mind totally diseased with the control and power of the cult of The OTH, sighed and said "yes."

"Well then. You’ll find what time the learn in Zurich pleasing. When you get there, You'll be given further tests and of course you'll learn to be a proper doctor. It's what we've asked of you this whole time, but now, after your training completion in Switzerland we'll get a pay back." Victor explained.

She looked in the envelope with the ticket. Her brow furrowed. Then she noticed a box in his hands, a package that also seemed to have come in the mail.

"And that?" She wondered.

"That's for later." He said as he slid the box over to her.

"For later?" Kim asked as she slowly opened the box revealing 10 vials of liquid each number and marked JENNINGS, 1970. 

"I'll take care of everything while you’ll learn in Zurich, don't worry about this box." Victor said as he pulled the box back.

"What are you going to use that for? What is it? Who is Jennings? Why won't you tell me?" Kim asked remembering it was the same formula she had been injecting into David. 

"You'll know everything as soon as you get to Switzerland." He reminded. "It'll all be explained to you. The success of PROJECT INTERSECT all depends on you, these vials, and our little boy. Our child will be a gift to the world and his rearing will be an extension of what we started with David." Victor replied using the name the OTH had given their new mission. 

"An extension?" Kim asked, confused at Victor's notion.

"David's process was interrupted when you got him placed at Windcliff. This little boy will now take his place in the project we've began. There's much more information for you awaiting in Switzerland." Victor explained. 

Kim was worried but she had vowed to him and to The OTH that she would do what they wanted. Kim took a deep breath and looked over at the table on the box as Victor closed it up again. It came directly from Chancellor Devlin. 

"Victor, wait!" Kim said as she looked at her airplane ticket again "there is only one ticket here. And it's one way." She said.

"The baby and I will stay here, don't you see. He is our our key to ridding the world of the Collins family. There are more out there and we need to destroy them, and with this baby boy we won't fail. I have lots and lots of other plans for my son." Victor said as he took the baby from Kim's arms.

"No, Victor, please, you don't understand I need to be with my child. I can't let someone else take my other boy away from me! I mean...we haven't even given him a name!" Kim shouted.

"You should have thought of that before you let Carolyn and Caleb go. Do you understand what kind of trouble you put yourself into? This new training is going to make you good again in the eyes of the OTH. Your mistake could have gotten us all killed. Me, you, this baby! The OTH is giving you another chance, Kimberly. Take the ticket. Do what they ask, and when you return things will be different. You'll see. They'll be better. Much better." Victor explained.

Then Victor looked over at the package of vials with a label on each vial that read "JENNINGS 1970". It was the same serum that they had been injecting into David and now would be slowly injecting into the baby in a long tedious transformation process the OTH called PROJECT INTERSECT. 

Victor read the name again on the label "Jennings" ...he repeated it once more to himself then turned to Kimberly an announced "Christopher. The baby's name is Christopher. Like his Great-Uncle." 

"Your mother Amy's brother." Kim said softly as it slowly seeped into her mind who JENNINGS was. Then it dawned on her what exactly was in the vials she had been giving David and now would be injected into her weeks old baby. Christopher Jennings, Victor's long dead uncle's DNA. Lyken DNA.

"My god....." She whispered, covering her mouth in shock. "What's going to happen to Christopher, the baby? What's going to happen to David?" Kim asked.

"David!?! Don't ever speak to me that name again. He's done. And Don't worry about my boy. He's going to be something special. He's going to save us all. You'll see. You'll see.:" Victor said as Kimberly sat back down at the kitchen table in Victor's home and said not another word just stared at the box filled with vials labeled with CHRISTOPHER JENNINGS name. 

Their world would now change forever.


While the sun began to set in Collinsport, Maine and the ocean fog slowly seeped over the land like a slow white river of mist, a world away the sun was beginning to rise.  

In a quiet neighborhood lush with green gardens a corner home with white exterior walls and red tile roof cooled with the morning dew. 

This was Singapore. A wild and beautiful city that harbored it’s own secrets, especially inside this reclusive bungalow with green shutters on its windows. 

Inside the home, an old man with a wrinkled face and the whitest hair anyone had ever seen, sat in a freshly painted  study with large potted palms and a ceiling fans that cooled the old man’s pale skin in the heat of the day. 

As he sat with his head back on a large comfortable chair, smoke swirled all around him. The smoke swirled around him like fog from the French Bay in Collinsport. He knew that fog from that bay very well. Probably like no one ever before him. He thought of it often too. Those swirling foggy memories would creep in like the sun now filling his study and through his cigarette smoke. 

On the old man's lap, there a black book with leather binding. His hand was gently stroking the blood read ribbon book mark that stuck out from the books pages like a lizard sticking out it's tongue.

"Father?" A young woman said from the study's open door way, her arms filled with medical books.

"Yes, Siobhan?" The old man said from his plush chair with its back turned to her; the smoke still filtering from his mouth in quiet puffs like a passenger train rushing through the night to it's designation. 

"Dinner is ready. I'm just going to study some more, but help yourself ok?" Young Siobhan said rushing off to read her medical books.

The old man who seemed to be in his 80s, a widower too, stood up and sturdied his old legs with a wolf-headed cane leaving the book open on the chair. 

He put the cigarette out and slowly made his way out of his study. His old body, crooked and achy struggled all the way into the dining room and as he passed a large mirror hanging on the wall crowned in gold leaf and golden cherubs. He looked into the clear glass of the mirror, expecting to see the face he had seen for centuries, but aged. A reflection that he long missed to smile back at him. 

But there was none. There was no reflection. 

The old man frowned and walked down to the dining room with his wolf-headed cane, waiting another day to see his face.  

******25  Years Later, 2015******

Abandoned Collinwood, 2015

The years went on with not a single family member to live in the mansion above the crashing waves on Widow's Hill. The House went dark, the silence was only broken by the crashing waves in a constant battering of the rocky shore just outside the darkened windows.  

Collinsport would change too. Changing from a small fishing village to a well oiled and busy mid-sized town that was still filled with the finest New England folklore. No would could pass through this quirky town with it's quaint village like feel, circling seagulls and foggy shore line without hearing of the legendary family that gave the town it's name and how they were bewitched by curses and shadows of devils and demons.

But the most repeated story of them all was the one of the family member that had disappeared one foggy night in 1971..a vampire Collins who caused havoc, murder and madness to all who dwelled in the house on the hill. 

Yes, The Collins family in 2015 was now a relic of time. And every living member seemed to vanish from existence only to live among the whispers of the towns people when they looked up at the old mansion on the hill above town.

Over hundreds of passing seasons; warm summers and cold winters and 25 years years of sunsets and full moons the Collins Fishing Co would eventually pass to a now grown Caleb who worked mostly from His home in London, England. 

As old mansion do, the house on Widow's Hill went into disrepair. The furniture was covered with white sheets. The paintings too...all protected from dust and damage. Not a single person had been in that home since Carolyn's departure with Caleb to London in 1990.

 David was abandoned by the family at Windcliff never to be heard from again. Carolyn promised to never speak his name. For Caleb's sake. For her part, Kimberly kept her word to The OTH and had been in Switzerland training as a doctor for the next phase of their plan. 

But the darkest crevices of the West Wing, a lone woman of spiritual and powerful blood lay in wait in Quentin's room: the mysterious Evangeline Claudia Bouchard. She was locked away to wait for her time again to come. Her time to reunite with her father who she knew, deep in her body, would return to Collinwood one day. One day soon. 

She lay on the bed that had a deep purple cover on it made of the finest silks of France. She wondered when the day would come when she would finally know it was time. She'd been waiting for years and years and years since she found the room in 1990

Suddenly, without any warning the engraved golden Gramophone played a familiar tune. She ignored it and she continued to try and stay asleep. It was same tune that Claudia had been hearing for and years since arriving in Quentin's room. 

But this time the song was louder. Strong and she could not stay asleep. 

She stood up, frustrated with the music and went over to the Gramophone to see if she could stop it, and as she lifted her hand over the golden music machine it stopped. Just like that. As if she had turned it off.

Silent. Claudia backed away, confused at how quickly the music came and went. 

Then, the locked door to the room clicked open and it slowly opened for her. 

"Wake." A disembodied voice said.

Claudia turned towards the door, She looked around but did not see where the voice was coming from.

The door that had been locked since 1990 pushed further open and in the dark shadow on the other side was Mother Bathlem.

"This is your final awakening my child. is the day your fate and destiny finally begin to be fulfilled." Bathlem said to Barnabas and Angelique's daughter that she raised. 

"Mother Bathlem, wait!" Claudia said just as the nun's habit Bathem was wearing began to twist and turn and fold over her face seeming to swallow her up completely until she disappeared into this black and white fabrics then....gone. 

Claudia was alone again. 

Claudia looked down and noticed her clothes had changed. She was now in a red dress made of satin and silk. She flattened the front of the red dress that was long and beautiful. She paused. Unsure of what to do. It had been years sine she saw the outside world, but she followed Bathlem's sage words and crossed the threshold of the door and headed for the main part of the house to find what was out there...what was waiting for her.

It was time to meet her destiny. 

She walked the empty halls. She looked into every room. She could smell the dust and see all the aging spider webs hanging from the chandeliers.

As she walked around she could feel the cool air from the sea squeeze in from a slightly opened window in one of the rooms she passed. Josette's ghost, peeked out through a wall but she knew this time she could not interfere with what was happening. 

A new Destiny was being born, one Josette could not become entangled with. Not this time.

Claudia went over to close one of the opened window and saw a man walking up the front path of the mansion's from lawn. 

She quickly made her way through the room and over to the landing of the stairs and watched as he came in through the door ....with a key.

She looked down at the man who had white hair, a handsome face and was impeccable dressed. She walked forward and her foot bit the banister causing a loud noise startling the man in the foyer who had pulled down a white sheet revealing the portrait of Barnabas Collins.

"Hello? Anybody there?" He called. 

He walked slowly to the other side of the foyer and looked into another darkened room. Nothing. 

Claudia wasn't sure who he was, but she could tell there was something familiar about him. Had she met him before? Had they known each other in another time or place or world? She turned herself invisible and slowly walked down the steps of the staircase to get a better look. 

As she went by, she knocked over a vase that had been sitting on an otherwise empty table. 

The man, the intruder as Claudia saw him, spun around and saw nothing again. 

"Who's there! Who are you?" the man said as he began his ascent up the stairs onto the mezzanine and landing of the main staircase. 

Claudia then revealed herself to him as a shadowy figure blurred by magic. She could feel his intensity. She could feel his heart pounding like a roaring thunderous boom in the sky. 

 She said said nothing to his constant questions.

"I ask you again! Who are you? What are you-----"

As the demanded to know the identity of the shadowy person, Claudia jumped from the mezzanine into the air in a large puff of black smoke above the man. She floated above him swirling and swirling in plumes of black smoke terrifying him to his core. 

As the man stared up in terror of what he was seeing, a beautiful sorceress in a red dress. A beautiful witch with powers unknown to anyone and perhaps not even she herself knew what she was capable of. She was Claudia, still smoke-like form, fell down upon him and entered his body. She filled every sell in his blood, every tissue, every bone, every muscle. 

She could sense his heart beat, she could tell he was someone that was connected to her someway or another. His body was older but she could tell his life was a goo done. She could tell he was a man with deep love and deep devotion to another. Another person, who loved him right back. The same way. 

She had felt that feeling before too. Love. Devotion. A connection. She had wanted it back for years and years as she was trapped in the secret room. She had wished for it. She had desired it. 

She felt it was Justin....she felt it with the love of her life that she was forced to destroy so long ago. Was it him? Was he back? 

She felt it was in deed Justin, or as he called himself in 1990, Leopold. 

Perhaps this is why the door unlocked and why she was set free. Perhaps they COULD finally be together and the time, as Bathlem said would come, was right. 

As the man became absorbed by the mist that was Claudia all he could do was scream, but nothing came out. His body froze in terror as the black mist morphed into Claudia's body and face, her eyes ice blue were filled with sadness and tears yet they went into man like daggers. 

The man, who came to Collinwood for his wife, was Jack Thorne, Carolyn Stoddard's husband. 

Claudia opened her mouth and tearfully spoke only one word, the one word that had been on her mind since 1990. The one word that would consume her now in 2015. 


Was the man of her dreams finally coming back to her? After all these lonely years in his true aged form? Was he trying to come back some how through this man who she felt such a connection to?

As the man fell into a deep sleep from Claudia's powerful magic, he levitated and magically began to float up the stairs and into a room of Claudia's choosing. 

As she began to go with him, she turned back and looked at the exposed portrait of her father Barnabas Collins. He was still gone from Collinwood. Her revenge for what he had done to her and her mother Angelique was still a powerful and painful memory that, for now would have to wait for another time.

He was out there. Somewhere. Claudia could feel it. And in time, like so many before he'd return. 

Like a fresh wind through a trouble sea storm, he'd return and then and only then could Claudia get the justice she had been waiting for.

And so Claudia turned and walked up the stairs with her awaiting guest Jack Thorne.
To wait....for another storm. 

In the abandoned Collinwood mansion,
Claudia encounters JACK THORNE

Monday, November 2, 2020

Series 13/Chapter 12: FAMILY TREES

The Stoddards: Paul, Elizabeth, Beau, Cameron, Carolyn

Two days of overcast and grey weather buried Collinsport in frothy sea mists that went from shore to town and back again and would soon break into a wild storm in the sky above. It was a typical early afternoon in the New England fishing village, but one woman would come face to face with an element of her past that she long thought missing, a missing link to her existence would reattach itself to her heart, and it had been under her nose the whole time.

It had been a few days since Cameron's run in with Evangeline when she escaped her capture in the basement of the Old House. Cameron had no memory of the encounter and was thoroughly engrossed in moving on with his life after Noelle's death. 

When he was finished packaging things from upstairs, he began to search the drawing room of the old house for items. The stroll through memory lane made an impact on him: for almost 20 years he had lived there with Noelle as she took care of Elizabeth in her old age. The home had been offered to them so that Noelle could come in and out of the main mansion and watch over Elizabeth with ease but also she could have her own space. 

Now that both Elizabeth and Noelle were gone, Cameron knew that any day now he'd be asked to leave the home. He was being proactive. The family didn't know he was one of them, and at this point he didn't know if he wanted to tell them--or even be a member of the family. 

There were countless little items left by his aunt, a woman he saw more of like a mother. Her reading glasses. Her little reminder notes for what she needed to bring the next day for Elizabeth. Her comfy slippers that sat by her favorite chair. 

It was a gut punching reality that he had to do this. Pack up her things. It was killing him inside. A painful and final chapter ---she was really never coming back.

Then, there was a knock at the door. 

Cameron first thought that it was Lucas coming back to plead forgiveness for going behind his back and working with Noelle to search the Mansion for evidence that they'd some how been responsible for his father's death. 

Cameron sighed, annoyed at Lucas' tenacity to come back into his good graces, and went over to the door ready to shoo him away for good. When he opened it, he was shocked to see who was standing in the cool air of the November day illuminated with the brightness of the gray sky behind her. 

His birth mother Carolyn Stoddard-Thorne. 

"Mrs. Thorne!" Cameron exclaimed. "...come in, come in." Cameron continued, shocked to see his mother standing before him.

She wasn't alone. The family lawyer, Webber Garner was with her.

"How are you Cameron?" She asked truly concerned for his wellbeing after Noelle's death.

"Better. Well, better than I expected to be I guess. I've been sleeping like a baby--oddly." Cameron replied, as he unknowingly was still sleeping off the memory erasing spell Claudia Bouchard placed on him just days before. 

"Sometimes when we're in mourning we sleep more. It's sort of a way of our bodies to block out the sadness. When my mother died earlier this month I was doing the same. I slept deep too." Carolyn added, lying to Cameron to make him feel he wasn't alone in his grief. 

"What can I do for you? If it's about leaving the house, I've already started packing my aunts things. I should be out in a day or two." Cameron said noting the quiet family lawyer. 

"Oh, no not at all. Please take your time. You were so kind to come and speak to me at my mother's grave that I thought it only right that I repay the kindness." Carolyn answered as she entered the drawing room

Memories of all her years there came flooding back. All the times she'd come and collect David when he was a child running around searching for Josette's ghost. All the times she'd come to see Barnabas when she still trusted him. When she still had no fear of who he really was.

The innocent times. The Innocent days. 

She turned as Webber walked in behind her and saw Barnabas' painting still hanging on the mantle above the fire place. 

"Oh." She said, swallowing hard.

"It's rather gaudy, I know." Cameron joked of the old painting not knowing its history. 

"He was very...put together in life." Carolyn said of Barnabas still shrouding him in mystery despite knowing his monstrous side. 

"You knew him? The real person?" Cameron asked.

"Yes." Carolyn said as she turned to Webber, trying to not get into the details of Barnabas Collins. 

Cameron, noticing Webber too expressed a strange look, wondering who the man was.

"Our family attorney, Webber, is here only to give you this. It's a signed check from Collins Co. It's so that you know that the money my mother left your aunt will be given to you as her heir. I've also added an extra amount there for you Cameron. I know how much it hurts to be alone now. I don't want you to feel alone. We want to be sure you're taking care of. It would really hurt me to think you felt as if we were just casting you off like this now that all this tragedy has occurred." Carolyn said.

"I just need you to sign here and I can make sure the rest is taken care of." Webber added.

Cameron wasn't in the mood to discuss business or any matters of money any further. He shook his head and signed the paperwork that would eventually, in a day or so, give him all access to the inheritance Elizabeth left Noelle and the extra amount of funds Carolyn signed over to him for his troubles. As Cameron flicked through the pages he saw the extra extra $300,000. It was a huge amount. 

"I can't accept that." Cameron said hesitating to sign the last page where he saw his portion of the money. "It feels like you're paying me off for some reason." Cameron replied. "Noelle's fall was an accident.......right?" He added

Carolyn sighed. "It was." 

Cameron looked at the woman he knew was his mother, she didn't know the truth. But he wanted to believe her. He wanted to hear what she was saying and for it all to be the truth, and in reality he just wanted all of it to end. He wanted to gather the rest of his things and move on and move away and leave his Collins family connection behind.

And so...he signed the papers giving him Noelle's inheritance from Elizabeth and Carolyn's extra amount.

"There." Cameron replied underlining his name in the final signature box. 

Carolyn smiled warmly. "Your aunt was a very important part of my mother's life and we want to be sure you're taking care of too. I'm sure that both amounts will help you on whatever path you choose." Carolyn replied. 

Cameron was still in no mood to argue. Webber grabbed the signed paperwork and folded it into his briefcase. 

"I'll have everything arranged." Webber then excused himself from the room and exited the Old House leaving Cameron and Carolyn alone.

Carolyn looked around the old house again for what seemed like hours but its as only a few minutes. She smiled at seeing some of the other decorations from Barnabas' time had survived all the years she had been away. She looked up again at the painting above the fire place. She shook  her head at his painted smirk.

 He still stood looking over everyone no matter what. He was there. Always watching. Always staring down keeping a very hungry eye on the family he so loved and at the same time haunted. 

"So? What was he like?" Cameron asked packing a small bag and noticing Carolyn staring at Barnabas. 

She turned to Cameron and smiled. "Complicated. Loving. Loyal..." she giggled. "Diabolical too."

Cameron smiled as he zipped the bag up. "No, not the man in the painting. My father. What was my father like?" 

Carolyn's face changed. Her heart skipped a beat. She began to feel her insides fill with butterflies because  she knew it the day she spoke with Cameron at the cemetery that something about him made her feel different. Protective even. Something in her body felt that she knew his face but in a different form, that his eyes were eyes she had seen and his hands were hands that she had held. 

But in a different time. In a different way.

"Your father?" Carolyn replied trying to push Cameron to tell her what she had already began to feel.

"My father was Beau. I know that you knew him, my aunt told me you two were friendly back in the day." Cameron paused unsure of how to finish his reveal that he, was who he was....her son, instead blurred the lines of truth in the story. 

"Cameron I..." Carolyn said interrupting. 

"What was he like?" Cameron asked again.

"He was beautiful. Everything about your father was beautiful. He was smart. And funny. And ….I loved him." Carolyn admitted.

"You loved him." Cameron repeated just so he could hear it again.

"I truly did. Everything about him I loved. But in those years things were different. It was stupidly different, I admit, but the two of us had to follow rules; rules neither of us wanted to acknowledge but we had to. Society is a messy place, Cameron. I know that you know personally how hard things are to finally be yourself in a world that only wants to tare you down. Your father and I loved each other, we truly did. But in the end we couldn't be together. One way or another." Carolyn said drawing the true parallel between her fight to love Beau in public rather than in secret for being an interracial couple in the 1960's and Cameron's plight to be who he really was, out and proud in the 1990s. 

"Do you know how Aunt Noelle came to be my guardian?" Cameron asked, testing Carolyn's knowledge and finally dropping a big hint of his identity. 

Carolyn lifted an eye brow. She looked deep into his eyes. They were shaped like hers. They were her eyes looking back at her. The shape of his lips too. They were hers. She was seeing herself in Cameron. The hints were undeniable and she knew where his questioned were going. 

This man, who was exactly the same age as the son she had with Beau and gave up for adoption would have been had she raised him herself. Then it came came out of her mouth, like a light brightening the darkest room. 

"Is it you? Are you who I think you are?" She added.

Cameron only looked at her as she began to connect the dots one by one. He decided to help.

"I was born in London in late 1966. My birth mother gave me up for adoption because she couldn't take care of me. My aunt, Noelle, found me. She adopted me herself. She told me, for years, that my father had died and that my mother had died. But it was all lie. Well, part of it. My mother had not died. She is living. She'd been in London all this time, and in fact, I was raised right where she had been raised. Its a messed up turn of fait, isn't it? We're sort of like all fighting to find ourselves and in reality here were facing each other. After all this time. All this lost time." Cameron said as Carolyn began to sob in front of him realizing he was her long lost son.

"I .... I don't know what to say." Carolyn said through a flush of tears. 

Cameron walked over to her and grabbed her hand and squeezed it. Too much had happened. Too many deaths. Too many painful things were floating around them like ghosts, like banshee's screaming at the top of their lungs. There was a clear push and pull within the energy of the room. The good energy only wanted these two to to reunite, the bad wanted them to further the strain of a fractured and secret family. 

Cameron smiled at her, showing her the good energy was winning---for now.

"It's ok. It's really ok. Ive had a wonderful life. Noelle really took care of me and raised me well. I just wish things were different. I wish that maybe I could have gotten to know Elizabeth better, or David or anyone really. You too. But, I can't complain. Life does that you know, it gives you what you can handle and nothing more. This was the way we were meant to connect." He said as she released a gasp of air from her lungs in relief and grabbed hold of him. Her son. Her beautiful long lost son. 

"My son!" She said still sobbing.

"So, what now?" He joked.

Carolyn pulled back from her boy, her mascara smeared all over her eyes and cheeks.  

"I have to go back to London. You have a little sister there. You would love her. She would love you.  I have to go back but....Cameron you have to understand I can't come back here again. Aside from my mother and Noelle's passing, things have gone horribly wrong with David. I can't be here. Its too much for me. Its just too much...." she paused. "You can come with me. Come with me!" She yelped.

"And what? Live in London?" Cameron asked astonished at her idea. He knew it was too soon for all of them to just act like a happy family.

"You could!!" She said.

He shook his head no. 

Carolyn, now seeing a second chance to be with the boy she gave up saw this as a start of a wonderful reunion. A relationship that she had been dreaming of since his birth. 

The topic of David however would cause her to do what she hated most. Lie.  To protect David---again.

"You mentioned something is  horribly wrong with David. What's happened with him?" 

Carolyn sniffled and began to backtrack. Noelle's death was supposed to be an accident. David's involvement had to be kept secret. 

"He's ill. Very ill." She replied glossing over David's mental recklessness. 

"I'm sorry to hear that." Cameron said softly, seeing just how stressed his mother was.

Carolyn smiled at him sweetly, satisfied that he didn't prod any further into David. Then she looked her son in the eyes and then he knew, she was never coming back. This was it. Carolyn Stoddard-Thorne, his birth mother, had no plans of ever returning to Collinsport. 

As the two embraced one more time, Lucas had arrived to try and warm things over with his boyfriend Cameron. He had been watching the whole time. He had been listening the whole time.

He didn't interrupt. But he did plot. 

The sound of Carolyn's saying she was returning to London made him grin ear-to-ear. He quickly went back to his car and drove off. He had new plans.  New plans for his own life. 

Carolyn and Cameron at the Old House


At Windcliff, David sees a familiar face

The halls of a hospital 40 minutes away from Collinsport smelled of old furniture. It was the smell of mold and mildew, the smell of unwashed sheets and stale food. This was Windcliff. It had changed over the years. It wasn't the same hospital Julia Hoffman once worked herself to the bone in. It wasn't the same hospital she gave all her she knew and all she had in her.

Over the years, Windcliff was left to decay in the hallowed out building that looked more like a skeleton of it's former self than a functioning hospital for the mental disturbed.

The Chief of Staff, Dr. Joanna Grayson, could care less. She had another pay check coming her way all this time. A paycheck that linked her to The Organization of the True Hearted. A paycheck that would insure David Collins stayed put until his ultimate death.

As David was wheeled into the common area of the hospital he struggled in his chair. The meds he had been fed kept him loopy and confused, angry and volatile, the straight jacket that kept him snug in his space was proof of his wild outburst.

As he tried to get himself free, a feat he'd never achieve, a woman sitting in the back of the common room noticed him come in. She was sitting at a table pasting photos and shapes that had been cut for her by a nurse onto a large white poster board and David's entrance made a huge commotion in the room.

"SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!" Screamed a bald overweight man in a hospital gown and slippers from his table at David.

David, his face showing his exhaustion snarled back.

"Devils Devils Devils Devils Devils." Murmured another woman playing with a doll as David passed her.

"Alright sit here for a bit. Enjoy the light." The orderly pushing David said leaving him in his straightjacket and chair in the light of the widows.

"Devils Devils Devils Devils everywhere. Everywhere. Everywhere." The woman with the doll kept saying.

The first woman who was pasting the photos, looked at David again now that he was in the sunlight in the window.

She knew him.
She knew that face.

She had been at Windcliff since 1985. She had been hiding. Hiding herself. Hiding from her past. Hiding from a man who was crazy and hiding from all the things that made her frightened. She had been there before, many years before. As a young woman after she had been kidnapped. The hospital, Windcliff, made her feel this uneasy peace and safety even though inside those walls lives the volatile world of the insane. And yet....she felt safe there. 

It had been years since she recognized someone, but this face, David's face, changed that. It was almost like her eyes were playing tricks on her. She hadn't seen him since he was in his teens. After she disappeared. No one knew she  was hiding there. No one. Not even the man she was hiding from.

The mysterious women walked over from her task of pasting the photos and stepped into the window's light where David was sitting tied up in his straightjacket. She knelt down to get a better look at this face.

He was groggy. Drugged. He wasn't seeing clearly but he opened his eyes to see this face. 

"Fancy seeing you here." She said to him with a calm wink. 

David, his eyes seeing a blurry figure in front him that had quadrupled because of the medication he was taking couldn't make heads or tails of who it was, but he recognized her too. But a name didn't click. Nothing clicked.

"Help me." he whispered to the familiar stranger. 

She smiled at him and patted him on the shoulder. 

"I guess it all got to you too honey. It was only a matter of time I guess. David?" the woman asked trying to get him to look at her. "David?" She said again trying to get his attention.

But he was just a drooling into his own medicated psychosis. He kept shaking, trying to get his way free of the straightjacket. He began to violently thrust his arms attempting to release them. He was shaking. Pulling. Shaking again.

"HEY! Get away from him! Back up!" An ordinary screamed at the woman.

"I wasn't doing anything." She said. 

"Yeah sure you weren't. You're never doing anything. Back the hell up!" The cruel orderly shouted as the woman.

As she turned to walk back to her project, David looked up from his scrunched position in the wheel chair.

He saw her face clearly, but the medication began to blur his mind again. He managed to whisper "Maggie? Is that you?" to the woman.

She smiled a bright grin at him surprised at the name he called her, just as the Orderly pulled his chair back and started to move it to anther part of the room.

"Hey kiddo." She said softly but no ne heard. 

"GET BACK ROSENBERG!" the orderly shouted at the woman calling her a different name.

David, still groggy looked at the woman called Rosenberg confused. It was Maggie Evan's face. He could see it clearly. But the name. Rosenberg? As David's chair was wheeled off, he kept looking back and the blurry figure he swore in his mind was Maggie Evans who had supposedly died 10 years earlier.

David whispered again "Maggie." 

Victor and Kim in the Court-Yard

The next day the bubbling fountain in Collinwood's court yard dribbled and dripped in and out of tempo as Kimberly stroked her pregnant tummy and walked around the garden of autumn shrubs and plants. She had been feeling sick most of the morning and Carolyn had given her the idea of strolling around the outdoors to get some fresh air.

She hugged herself to keep the fall air from cooling her warm body ad adjusted the scarf around her neck. She took in a deep breath of fresh sea air from the courtyard, and when she opened up her eyes, Victor Reed was standing in front of her.

She gasped in fright as she did not hear him enter in through the locked gate.

"What are you doing here? Carolyn is home! She could see you." Kimberly said, her stomach feeling heavy and watery.

Victor lifted a suitcase up to his chest and patted it. "I've brought you something. It came from the Chancellor herself." Victor said.

"What is it?" She asked.

"Its something that will finally do what we've been talking about for months now. Its the one-stop-shop, tool to answers all your questions on how to finally rid the world of the vermin Collins family. The Chancellor has become inpatient so she' send this package along to me to give to you. Kim, this our ticket to freedom, all of us; this town, this world. It's a gift." Victor said, his eyes wide and some what frightening as he had been so brain washed by The OTH that he was too lost to bring back. And he wanted to take Kim to that spot too.

"Listen, Victor," the very pregnant Kimberly began. "I'm not feeling to well today and Carolyn is home I don't want to stir up trouble so close to David's departure to Windcliff. It's been a whirlwind these last few weeks, can't we just wait until the baby is born to start all this again?" Kimberly asked as she brought Victor to a hidden part of the courtyard under the shadows of various trees. 

"Are you serious? This is the perfect time to finish the job Kim. This will do everything we've ever wanted. You actually don't have to do anything, you see this gift does all the work for you." Victor said as he grabbed her hand and dragged her back into Collinwood.

Kimberly began to panic. She didn't want Carolyn to see Victor and she certainly didn't want Carolyn to see Victor with her. Together. Holding Hands. Victor was now being reckless. 

"Victor, come on, let go, stop this!" Kim said as his grip only tightened. "Victor! Please! You're going to get us caught. This House is huge but the walls are thin!" She said again, trying to release herself. 

As they made their way through the crowded with shrubbery Courtyard, he pushed the glass door of a large room that was screened off patio that lead into the house. The pair of conspirators made their way into Collinwood and entered into the kitchen where the cook had the day off. 

"What are you doing?????" Kimberly said, he forehead now beading with sweat.

"I have to show you what Chancellor Devlin sent me." Victor replied pulling out the package that arrived just hours before at his house from someplace where V.W. Devlin was in hiding.

The box inside the briefcase was wrapped in brown paper and had a lid on it that lifted easily. As Victor unwrapped the package that had even more white packaging paper protecting the gift inside, it slowly became visible to Kimberly who was beginning to feel the onset of a panic attack as her eyes gazed on what had been delivered to her. 

She was clammy. Cold. She was feeling sweating and tired. Her blood pressure was high, she felt faint, but looking in the box she felt much worse. This wasn't just regular rush of hormones from her pregnancy. This was a true full on panic attack just from seeing what Victor was showing her. 

It was a bomb.

"Jesus Christ Victor!" Kimberly said slapping his arm in shock.

"You see, this will finally make sure we're rid of this damn family forever. Every last one of them here in this town. Dr. Grayson will make sure David dies at Windcliff, and we'll take care of Alexandra in London when we go there next week. But now, this will end Carolyn and Caleb and this whole house! Its genius." Victor recounted.

"This is..... this is too much. I'm not feeling well and I can't even begin to tell you how this is not the time. Where am I to go if this happens? This is my home too." Kim replied to Victor's stern expression.

"This is your home? This is NOT your home! You made a vow to the OTH that you would help us kill every last member of this demonic family and you're going to do it. No matter what you are going to help me. Other wise we will have no choice but to make sure die too, and Kimberly, I don't want to do that. I don't want to do what they said for me to do to you if you bail on us. Do you know what that would mean?" Victor said, his eyes going cold as he grabbed on to Kimberly's hand tightly.

"No." She said frightened of his reaction.

"You don't want to know, because it is much worse that what we've done here to David or with this bomb. Its more painful. Its more deadly but it won't kill you for hours. You'll suffer. And you'll never see that baby again." he said pointing to her belly.

Just as he did, Kimberly grabbed at her stomach as a sharp pain came stabbing at her belly. She screamed with pain as she spread her feet apart allowing her water to break. Her sudden illness wasn't an illness at all, she was going into labor. 

The baby was coming.

Victor looked down at the floor, the amniotic fluid was all over his and Kim's shoes. He finally was going to see his son. He finally was going to begin the second part of his plan with the child Kim was carrying.

"Oh my god!! OH MY GOD!" Kim screamed as her contractions started to thrust in her body, bone by bone, muscle by muscle. Pain by pain.

"Come on! Let's get you to the hospital!" Victor shouted. As Kim started to walk out of the kitchen, Victor quickly, with the slight of hand clicked the destination clock button to start and hide the box with the bomb under the kitchen table. 

The clock rang the it was detonated and flashed a 24 HOUR countdown.

In the foyer, Kimberly was grabbing her purse as Victor rushed in, opened the front door and headed for his car that was stupidly parked out front. Carolyn and Caleb came down the stairs as Kimberly's painful screams lifted through Collinwood's rafters.

"What the devil?" Carolyn said not seeing Victor but seeing Kim a sweaty mess in the foyer.

"I've gone into labor Carolyn. The baby is coming!" Kim said.

"OH MY!! Ok I'll get the drive to come up, no...Ill Get an ambulance up here, no Ill take you myself!" Carolyn said, panicking with excitement and not knowing there was a bomb in the kitchen waiting to blow the entire mansion up to smithereens. 

"No, no, no, a friend of David's is here, he was visiting and checking in on me and he's going to take me." Kim said lying about Victor's "Friendship" with David.

"Are you sure??" Carolyn said as she and Caleb stepped of the final step from the staircase.

"Yes, thank you. Please just stay here with Caleb. ....Caleb honey, mama is going to go now, for a little while, Ok? Ill be back soon." Kim said her voice struggle to speak with pain.

"Where????" Caleb said asking where she was off to.

"Im gonna have a baby honey, Ill come home with your..." as she finished her sentence, Victor honked his car's horn. "Ill be back ok? Listen to Cousin Carolyn as I'm out." She said as Victor rushed up the steps of the front entrance to help her to the waiting car. 

As Caleb reached up for Carolyn to hold him again. She did, and hugged him tight. She was oddly happy for Kim, who she never really liked. But she believed Kim was giving birth to David's second child, she had no idea the baby was really Victor's.

To Carolyn and even to Caleb, the joy of a new incoming family member would soon wash away so much pain of the last few weeks of death and sadness.

Little did the happy family members know, a ticking clock on a bomb that could blow a 40 foot trench into the ground where it was placed was never going to let anyone else be happy again. Not now.

Not ever.